Ourania A. Preventza, MD, MBA on representing the diverse patient population we treat

“It is imperative that our workforce represents the diverse patient population we treat.” – Ourania A. Preventza, MD, MBA

In an upcoming Annals of Thoracic Surgery article recently highlighted in the Society of Thoracic Surgery (STS) newsletter, Texas Heart Institute and Baylor College of Medicine surgeon Dr. Ourania Preventza and colleagues examined the representation of women and racial and ethnic minorities among trainees in cardiothoracic surgery.

By reviewing data from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) public database—which include trainees in traditional, integrated (I-6), and fast-track (4+3) programs—the authors discovered that the proportion of women among the trainees increased from 19% in 2011-2021 to 24% in 2019-2020. This change was largely due to the increased enrollment of women in I-6 programs. Over that same period, the proportion of Hispanic trainees rose from 0% to 3% (mainly in I-6 programs), and the proportion of Black trainees increased from 2% to 4% (chiefly in traditional programs).

The authors also broke down the demographics of the 1,175 academic cardiothoracic surgeons captured in the ACGME database in July 2020. About 10% of these were women. Broken down by race, the surgeons were 64% White, 25% Asian, 3% Black, and 8% other.

In the STS piece, Dr. Preventza states that “We are no doubt getting better, but we still have a lot of work to do. Our specialty needs to continue to advocate and focus on strategies to mitigate bias in recruitment, retention, promotion, and leadership engagement. The main beneficiary of these efforts will be our patients.”

Article By Steven Palmer, PhD


The Texas Heart Institute Center for Women’s Heart & Vascular Health hosts its annual symposium to provide updates on the most current issues concerning cardiovascular disease in women. First held in 2010, this program is an accredited, full day symposium for all healthcare providers caring for women today including; cardiologists, surgeons, obstetricians/gynecologists, emergency medicine, internal medicine, family practice, endocrinologists, nurses and nurse practitioners about prevention, early diagnosis and treatment strategies for heart disease in women. The 11th annual symposium was held on October 2, 2021.